120 days off: the job search has become the very definition of ‘meta’

Posted on 05.07.2013


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I know I’ve been MIA for a while, and only posting the books I’ve been reading. So here’s my update: as of today, I have been ‘off’ work for 120 days. I can’t totally say that I hate it, but it is difficult since I’m not used to NOT working and NOT knowing what I am doing.

I got a very gentle slap in the face the other day as I had a miniature breakdown about not having found a job yet, and not having made up my mind as to WHERE the job would be. “How many people get to sit down and really DECIDE what to do and where to go next? You’re in a really powerful position right now and can survive a bit longer without working. Why don’t you just single out some cities and define the thing you REALLY want to do, and then go from there?”.

He was right, and it calmed me down a bit. I named the cities I would be MOST interested in living and working in, and the jobs (in order) that I would LOVE to do, and sadly, at the top of that list was ‘college counselor’… those jobs don’t exactly get posted on indeed.com, so I’ve had to get lists of colleges in specific cities, and then go to each college/university’s website and find their job postings, and go from there. It has taken A LOT of time, and yielded mostly unsatisfactory results… so far. I will say that my dream job is currently open, just in some cities I wasn’t considering living in. But that doesn’t mean I can’t go there, try it on and then move to another city if I don’t like it.

While coming back to Baltimore WAS the initial goal and is still high on my list of priorities, I have realized that since I’ve been gone, life has gone on without me and the city doesn’t hold QUITE as much for me as it used to. This was the risk that I had to take in coming back, and if it means I get to come back often and visit, then so be it. I clearly wasn’t getting enough Baltimore time while overseas, and I can honestly say that the attitude of the Bavarians wasn’t something my personality could handle. The general lack of smiles  on the street should have been a hint.

Because of all of this, my ‘list of demands’ for where I live next has changed slightly, and now there are other cities on the list which weren’t before, like NYC. There is definitely something to be said for only having to go to ONE store to buy all of the stuff I need to bake or cook something, and the larger cities like DC and NYC have those kinds of shops in spades. I’d like to save as much time as possible doing errands, in order to actually have time to do the things I WANT to do and enjoy my life. Going to five different shops twice to three times a week to find cooking supplies for ONE recipe is not high on my priority list, after having done it for a few years.

That being said, the job hunt is still on, and once I pass the job ‘college counselor’, I can get back to searching sites like Indeed and Linked in, and maybe even craigslist. But for now, I’m choosing a few cities per day and going through the lists, and visiting a lot of websites for different colleges.

I will say, as an observation, that a LOT of colleges can’t quite figure out where to put the job listings. It’s frustrating to have to read the sitemap after 5 clicks and still find nothing!

The cities I’m searching, in no particular order, are: Baltimore/DC, NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Fran, Portland and Seattle. Outside of the US (and once I get back into ESL territory), I’m looking at Sweden, Iceland and Japan. Sweden and Iceland don’t actually NEED English teachers, as they are learning from very early ages. But Japan certainly does, and I want to learn Japanese and get closer to Noda, so it’s at the top of the list. And the bottom, when we factor in climate :-/ Japan is the ONLY place I will make the climate exception for. Italy is searching for English teachers and I just can’t even consider it.

Random Update:
I haven’t folded any cranes in about a month, but I am STILL ahead of goal 🙂 I’ve got less than 300 to make, and some travel coming up. They will be done in two months, at the latest.

Posted in: 0rigami, life, travel